MOCA Gala 35th Anniversary (PHOTOS)

On Saturday March 29, 2014 I captured an art world star-studded cast of luminaries at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA as part of my continuing N(art)rative Series; a series that captures the important happenings in the art world through my photo essays. Here are a few pictures from that night.

The MOCA Gala at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Photo by EMS.

FROM THE PRESS RELEASE: MOCA announced today that its 35th anniversary gala will be held on Saturday, March 29 at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in celebration of the museum's recent fundraising success, independence and the appointment of MOCA Director Philippe Vergne, welcoming guests from around the world to a preview of the highly-anticipated Los Angeles homecoming exhibition, Mike Kelley.

The gala will be chaired by MOCA Board Co-Chairs Maurice Marciano and Lilly Tartikoff Karatz and MOCA Founding Chairman and Life Trustee Eli Broad. MOCA Board Chair Emeritus Maria Arena Bell, MOCA Trustee Peter Brant, Valérie Chapoulaud-Floquet, President and CEO, Louis Vuitton Americas, Larry Gagosian and MOCA Board Vice-Chair Eugenio Lopez will serve as gala honorary chairs. NJ Goldston, Carolyn Powers, Sutton Stracke and Orna Amir Wolens will serve as gala dinner chairs.

Nancy Rubins and Chris Burden. Photo by EMS.

Joy Bianchi. Photo by EMS.

"With our new director Philippe Vergne and our fantastic partner Louis Vuitton, we are so excited to celebrate MOCA's outstanding achievements and to present the important homecoming exhibition Mike Kelley at MOCA," said MOCA Gala Co-Chair and Board Co-Chair Lilly Tartikoff Karatz.

Irving Blum (center). Photo by EMS.

"Louis Vuitton is committed to sharing our creative passion with the communities we serve. MOCA has been a partner in that endeavor from the innovative Young Arts Program, to the intimate Art Talk series. We look forward to supporting MOCA's 2014 gala and celebrating this partnership in the Los Angeles community," said Valérie Chapoulaud-Floquet, President and CEO, Louis Vuitton Americas.

"This is the beginning of a new era at MOCA. We look forward to celebrating our extraordinary accomplishments at the MOCA gala with our friends of the museum from around the world, and especially with our new director, Philippe Vergne," said MOCA Gala Co-Chair and Board Co-Chair Maurice Marciano.

Mr. Chow. Photo by EMS.

Lari Pittman and Roy Dowell. Photo by EMS.

Shepard Fairey. Photo by EMS.

Paul Schimmel. Photo by EMS.

In the past decade, MOCA's annual galas have included the notable 2007 MURAKAMI Gala, a collaboration between Takashi Murakami and Louis Vuitton. This memorable gala was the beginning of MOCA's strong relationship with Louis Vuitton. In recent years, generous support from Louis Vuitton for MOCA has included the MOCA Louis Vuitton Art Talks series and the MOCA Louis Vuitton Young Arts Program, an immersive arts education program for teens.

Larry Gagosian and Chrissy Erpf. Photo by EMS.

Werner Herzog. Photo by EMS.

The MOCA Board of Trustees recently announced that in less than ten months, it had met and exceeded its goal of raising the museum's endowment to an historic high of over $100,000,000, securing both financial stability and its independence as the only public museum in Los Angeles dedicated solely to collecting and exhibiting contemporary art. With its newly-appointed director Philippe Vergne set to lead the museum into its next chapter as one of the most important international contemporary art museums, the MOCA gala chairs, honorary chairs and partner Louis Vuitton invite national and international guests from the worlds of art, design, fashion, film, music, architecture and culture to join them in celebrating the exceptional legacy and the future of MOCA. (END PRESS RELEASE)

Doug Chrismas. Photo by EMS.

Yvonne Schimmel, Mark Bradford, and Paul Schimmel. Photo by EMS.

Phillipe Vergne. Photo by EMS.

Marnie Weber, Danna Ruscha, David Gersh and Ed Ruscha. Photo by EMS.

David Gersh and Ed Ruscha. Photo by EMS.

Ed Ruscha and Wener Herzog. Photo by EMS.

Jim Shaw. Photo by EMS.

Chrissy Erpf, Eli Broad and Larry Gagosian. Photo by EMS.

Larry Gagosian. Photo by EMS.

Eli Broad. Photo by EMS.

Lita Albuquerque and Michael Kohn. Photo by EMS.

Dita Von Teese and Liz Goldwin. Photo by EMS.

Ed Ruscha, Ed Moses, and Danna Ruscha. Photo by EMS.

RETNA. Photo by EMS.

Pharrell Williams and Helen Lasichanh. Photo by EMS.

(This article is part of an ongoing photojournalism survey of art exhibition openings in SoCal titled EMS N(art)rative. Through my lens I document a photographic essay or visual "N(art)rative" that captures the happenings, personalities, collectors, gallerists, artists, and the art itself; all elements that form the richly varied and textured fabric of the SoCal art world. This reconnaissance offers a unique view for serious art world players to obtain news and information on the current pulse of what's in the now, yet capturing timeless indelible images for posterity and legacy. Here is EMS N(art)rative Seven.)

Correction: A previous version of this post misidentified David Gersh as Bobby Gersh.